VDI is currently mentioned in many IT organizations and the concept of providing virtual desktops to users is understood with all its related benefits (which I will not mention here). A virtual desktop serves many use cases, where users stay connected to their virtual desktop by any type of network connection. However, what happens if there is no network connection? Even though considering nations with high technology standards and where an Internet connection is even provided during flights (besides almost everywhere on the ground),  there are still plenty of scenarios, where you do not have a permanent connection to the infrastructure serving your virtual desktop. Furthermore, the trend is well set and all analysts state that the number of laptops versus full blown PC in an organization will  significantly increase. A laptop was not just made for being in the office, meaning you may and probably will in most cases take it with you. What if you could provide a virtual desktop to these users as well?

The technology for this use case is available with XenClient, allowing a user to download its virtual desktop and take it with the laptop. At first you may have concerns from a security perspective and losing control of desktop management. Therefore, XenClient does not just provide the hypervisor running on the laptop, but also a solution to handle the process in the backend including synchronization and policy-based control of the virtual desktops that are made available for offline usage.

So, what did I meant with VDI Drive-Thru? Taking this to the next level, where IT provides solutions that comply with an organization’s security requirements, but considers the user consumerization aspect, users would be able to pick their desktop (Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows 7 with specific applications pre-installed such as for developers) before taking it as to go – similar to any fast food restaurant drive-thru.

If you are new to this approach, I would recommend to attend the webinar “Desktop Virtualization for Mobile Users“, taking place on July 21, 2010 from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT.

Is this a use case you consider?

Senior Architect, Worldwide Technical Readiness
Follow me on twitter: @TarkanK